Daily Archives: October 11, 2015


Weekly Roundup* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This past week I was at 2015 Bouchercon, the world mystery convention held in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Bouchercon is the world’s finest annual crime fiction event, bringing together more than 1,000 authors, fans, publishers, reviewers, booksellers, editors, and every other part of the community for a fantastic four-day event.

Congratulations to all the winners of the Anthony Award. dru’s book musings was nominated in the category for Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work and it was a honor to be among this illustrious field. And the winners are:

  • Best Novel: After I’m Gone – Laura Lippman [William Morrow]
  • Best First Novel: The Black Hour – Lori Rader-Day [Seventh Street]
  • Best Paperback Original: The Day She Died – Catriona McPherson [Midnight Ink]
  • Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work: Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer’s Journey – Hank Phillippi Ryan, ed. [Henery]
  • Best Short Story: “The Odds Are Against Us” Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Nov 2014 – Art Taylor [Dell]
  • Best Anthology or Collection: In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon – Laurie R. King & Leslie S. Klinger, eds. [Pegasus Crime]


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This week on dru’s book musings (10/12 – 10/18)
October 12: Cait Morgan from “Cait Morgan” series by Cathy Ace
October 13: Author Showcase with G.M. Malliet
October 14: Richard Wilson from “Bridal Bouquet Shop” series by Beverly Allen
October 15: Janet MacPhail from “Animals in Focus” series by Sheila Webster Boneham
October 16: Rory Chasen from “Superstition” series by Linda O. Johnston
October 17: Ellison Russell from “Country Club Murders” series by Julie Mulhern
October 18: Cara Mia Delgatto from “Happy Homicides” by Joanna Campbell Slan

Last week on dru’s book musings
– Ivy Meadows by Cindy Brown
– Ruth Clagan by Julianne Holmes
– Lilah Drake by Julia Buckley
– Carmela Bertrand by Laura Childs
– Carly Bell Hartwell by Heather Blake
– Elsie Langton by Joyce and Jim Lavene
– Sedona O’Hara by Maria Schneider

Congratulations to these contest winners –
“A Beeline to Murder” by Meera Lester – Barbara H.
“Pane and Suffering” by Cheryl Hollon – Elaine R.
“Say Yes to the Dress” by Susan McBride – Tammie G.
“Say Yes to the Dress” by Susan McBride – Barbara H.
“Deal With the Wind” by Miranda James – KT H.
“Sky High” by Susan O’Brien – Linda H.


Research and Sedona O’Hala by Maria E. Schneider

Executive DirtMaria Schneider is the author of the humorous Sedona O’Hala mystery series. Like any author, she engages in intense research for every single book she writes. No task is too big or too small. Learn to shoot a gun? Not a problem. Hike the wilderness in search of just the right setting? Boots on, let’s go!

Learn to sew? Well, erm. When Sedona needed to learn to sew for the plot of Executive Dirt, I knew I was in trouble. That one didn’t go so well.

You know how MacGyver could fix anything with duct tape and a paperclip? Well, I’d like to see him fix my attempt at sewing a new pair of shorts. I’ll even give him organic cotton thread, and he can use my sewing machine. Yes, I decided to tackle finishing those shorts I started making six months ago. Oh, we all knew there wasn’t much hope. I can buy nice fabric with the best of them. I’m high class–in what I’d like to own, if not in actual results. The good news is that these shorts turned out to be in my actual size. They are long enough, unlike the last pair which became a pair of short underwear with pockets. And when was the last time anyone needed underwear with pockets???

These shorts fit around the waist. . .er, well. . .no, no, they fit. I do kind of have to tuck this extra bit of material up under the waistband on one side so that it doesn’t poof out as if I got caught with a cheese roll and stuffed it in there to hide it. No idea how that air pocket ended up there. And it is true that the waistband doesn’t exactly cover up the seam where the shorts and the waistband meet. I take it that in real shorts, that seam is up under the waistband so that it doesn’t appear here and there like secret sanskrit writings. So I’ll wear a long shirt.

One pocket sags. The other pocket. . .well, I had to fold over the seam to make the back fit to the front. See above where I said I’ll wear a long shirt.

The fabric is really soft. It’s stretchy too, so I can sit and stand without bunching. Then again, that could be because some of these seams have rather more give than not. That happens when instead of sewing all the way around or up and down complete seams, you stop after a short section and then remeasure and start again a quarter inch over. After the third or fourth try you give up and just fold the damn fabric to get it to fit. I call it a “gather.” Then I wear a long shirt.

I haven’t hemmed them yet. But I know how to stand if the legs aren’t exactly the same length. Oh yes, I will too. This is really nice, soft material and I am not going to waste it. And maybe someone in the grocery store will give me a referral for an inexpensive seamstress. Even if the seamstress wanted to charge me a lot, after she sees these shorts, she might just make me a pair for free. It’s that or call the cops because she thinks I robbed a homeless lady. But I didn’t. I swear. I made these myself.

I wonder??? Will Sedona have any better luck with her sewing projects in Executive Dirt? Does it matter so long as Sedona solves the murder mystery or are these dangerous tasks somehow entwined???

You can read more about Sedona in Executive Dirt, the 4th book in the “Sedona O’Hara” mystery series, published by Bear Mountain Books. The first three books in the series are Executive Lunch, Executive Retention and Executive Sick Days.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on October 16, 2015 for the chance to win a digital (epub or kindle) copy of Executive Dirt. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!

About the author
Maria Schneider also writes the Moon Shadow series (paranormal mysteries–a dash of magic, humor and romance) and the Dragons of Wendal series (fantasy that includes dragons because dragons are nearly as much fun as cats). You can find her at her blog: www.BearMountainBooks.com.